Preparation is the key
When I go on any adventure I make sure I am prepared. That means all my gear cleaned and packed and the clothing I wear is just as important. I ask myself some incredibly important questions.
Where am I going?
What images am I going to take?
What will the weather be, conditions, swell, tides etc?
Will I get wet, or do I plan on getting wet?
One of the best investments I made as an aspiring photographer is my gear. A slow accumulation of the right gear, and I am not talking about camera gear.
One of the elements that surprises me more and more is how under prepared people are. Photographers, Instagrammers, and tourists.
I ventured to Beech Forest on a scouting mission for this project, not specifically with the intention of finishing it, it would take time and persistence to keep going back and refining it, and I love Beech Forest so a road trip sounded great.
The adventure began with taking some family members that had never been before. I told them the conditions, most likely weather and we packed the car and off we went.
Walking down to the falls, I saw people walking in thongs and even no shoes… “Are you crazy?” Melbourne just had a bit of rain and so it was very wet, slippery and muddy, I brought some spiky boots I take anywhere I even consider getting wet. The spikes grip to the rocks and provide me with the right footing to keep myself and my gear safe.
I set out documenting the falls, scouting locations and carefully manoeuvring myself around the rocks and the rushing river. It was the most I had ever seen it flowing, unfortunately that meant that the shot I had in mind was out of the question. Even with the right gear.
I watched countless people climb the barriers and try to climb and navigate across moss covered tree branches and moss covered rocks. Cuts and bruises in mass numbers. Two social media influencers handed there mobile phones to a friend and they navigated across fallen tree branches across the river to balance for a selfie.
As I was finishing up documenting and about to leave, I watched a photographer slip and slide his way across the river, falling in the swollen river and reach for on several occasions tree fern branches which broke under the weight to counter act his lack of balance. Finally he made it across, but how was he getting back?
Now I understand why almost every-time I go to Hopetoun Falls why I see more and more torn and broke ferns branches scattered around the falls.